Having conceded ground at the start, OSRIC just couldn't get past the front-running Rougham over a longer trip at Ascot 12 days ago. Mister Stickler, third that day, is 4lb better off here but that shouldn't be enough for him to reverse the form with Nicky Henderson's charge who is taken to recapture the winning thread. Chain Of Command pulled much too hard when pulled up at Kempton last time. Successful earlier at the same track, he can't be ignored here if settling better and Betabob has been in good form since joining Nick Mitchell's yard. Only a pound higher than when runner-up at Ffos Las in December, the eight-year-old is sure to make his presence felt again.
Osric (IRE) 13-8fav (11-5) Held up in touch, headway from 8th, mistake 10th, driven to challenge 2 out, every chance last, soon hard ridden, always held towards finish, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Rougham (11-2) at Ascot 2m 3f nov ltd hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Jan.
Chain Of Command (IRE) 14-1 (11-5) Keen early, held up behind in touch, outpaced 8th, soon struggling, weakened 4 out, pulled up before next, in a race won by Nadiya De La Vega (10-8) at Kempton 2m nov chs (2) gs in Jan, 7 ran.
Mister Stickler (IRE) 5-1 (11-1) Held up in rear, headway 10th, chasing leaders when mistake 4 out, ridden and effort next, soon one pace, 3rd of 6, 20l behind Rougham (11-2) at Ascot 2m 3f nov ltd hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Jan.
Betabob (IRE) 4-1 (11-8) Held up in rear, headway 4 out, chased leaders next, ridden to challenge approaching last, stayed on to take 2nd flat, no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 4l behind Oscar Gogo (11-1) at Ffos Las 2m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Dec.